This is an extra or replacement audio recording for the musical play America's Tallest Tales.

(Your play purchase includes the audio recording, so there is no need to purchase another one unless you have misplaced the original or simply want an extra copy.)

CDs for student use are available at half-price, as long as 10 or more copies are purchased. See below to order.

You can learn more about the play by perusing the tabs below!

Item # Description Availability Qty Break Price Quantity
Extra/Replacement Audio Recordings
AMTT-AU-DIG
Downloadable Audio Files
- You will receive a ZIP file containing individual MP3s
Download 1 $12.00
AMTT-AU-PRI
Audio CD
In Stock 1 - 9
10+
$12.00
$6.00

$0.00

Has Pecos Bill rustled the big ox? Did Annie Christmas, Queen of the Mississippi keel-boaters, borrow him to pull her boat up the river? In the course of their adventures, Paul and Bess run into John Henry, Alfred Bulltop Stormalong, and a host of other stars of American folktales.

America's Tallest Tales is a great complement to your curriculum resources in elementary school language arts. And, like all of our plays, this show can be used to improve reading, vocabulary, reading comprehension, performance and music skills, class camaraderie and teamwork, and numerous social skills (read about it!) -- all while enabling students to be part of a truly fun and creative experience they will never forget!


Publication Information

Author: Ron Fink (Composer) and John Heath (Book and Lyrics)
ISBN: 978-1-886588-13-4
© 1998 Bad Wolf Press, LLC

Song Samples

Full Song List

1. "America’s Tallest Tales" (opening)
2. "Missing"
3. "I’ve Got So Much to Do"
4. "Ride On Pecos Bill"
5. "I’m Annie Christmas"
6. "Load a Hundred Boxcars"
7. "A Hammer in My Hand"
8. "Come Along"
9a. "I Need Pancakes"
9b. "Paul Needs Babe Back"
10. "America’s Tallest Tales" (ending)


Casting

Flexible casting from 11-40 students.
Use as many Cowtones, Ransom Notes, Deckswabs etc. as desired.
One student can easily play several roles if needed. Note that all roles
are not gender-specific: Paul can easily be play by a girl, for example.

Script

This is the first one-third of the script:

CHARACTERS:

Paul Bunyan
Bess Call and Farm Animals
Pecos Bill and the Cowtones
Trio: Johnny Appleseed, Betty Bananapeel, Paula Prunepit
Annie Christmas
The Ransom Notes
John Henry
Captain Alfred Bulltop Stormalong and the Deckswabs
Babe, the Blue Ox
Lumberjacks
Storytellers and a Chorus made up of all students who are not playing
roles at the time.

(The CLASS faces audience and sings:)

  Song 1 - Listen now!

CLASS:
You know the stories about Pecos Bill
John Henry’s hammer is a’ringing still.
Paul Bunyan had a great big ax
He was king of the lumberjacks.

Maybe these stories are a bit far-fetched
Maybe truth is a wee-bit stretched.
Tales silly as a tale can get
Oh but you ain’t seen nothing yet.

You’re gonna shout
You’re gonna holler
You’re gonna shout out loud
You’re gonna holler, holler, holler
We took tall tales
And made them taller.

INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS OF CLASS (spoken):
You know the stories about Pecos Bill
John Henry’s hammer is a’ringing still.
Paul Bunyan had a great big ax
He was king of the lumberjacks.

INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS OF CLASS (sung):
Maybe these stories are a bit far-fetched
Maybe truth is a wee-bit stretched.
Tales silly as a tale can get
Oh but you ain’t seen nothing yet.

ENTIRE CLASS:
You’re gonna shout
You’re gonna holler
You’re gonna shout out loud
You’re gonna holler, holler, holler
We took tall tales
And made them taller.

Now they’re so big
They’re bustin’ the scales
America’s tallest
America’s tallest
America’s tallest tales.

(CLASS takes its place as STORYTELLERS come forward)

STORYTELLER: Yep. For those of you who never heard of Paul Bunyan,
well you must have been livin’ in a city all your life. ’Cause Paul Bunyan
was the biggest, toughest lumberjack this country’s ever known.

STORYTELLER: One day Paul woke up and found that his best friend,
the giant blue ox named Babe, was missing! After flippin’ over a few
mountains and wadin’ across the Great Lakes, he did the only
reasonable thing a man who has lost his giant blue ox could do—he
put an ad in the paper.

  Song 2 - Listen now!

PAUL (stepping forward, ax in hand):
Missing
One blue ox
There’s a huge reward if found
Missing
One big ox
Takes three days to walk around
Or four days if you’re slow
Missing
Oh I’m missing my Babe so.

Missing
One blue ox
He eats pancakes by the crate
Missing
One big ox
He’ll pull a winding road out straight
There’s nothing he can’t tow
Missing
Oh I’m missing my Babe so.

CHORUS:
What has become of you Babe?
What are you going through?
Paul spends his day
Pining away
He’s as blue as you.

PAUL and CHORUS:
Missing
One blue ox
There’s a huge reward if found
Missing
One big ox
Takes three days to walk around
Or four days if you’re slow
Missing
Oh I’m missing my Babe so.
Oh I’m missing my Babe so.

STORYTELLER: Yep, Paul sure did miss that blue ox. So he went to ask
for help from his old friend Bess Call.

STORYTELLER: Bess lived with her brother on a farm in New York. It
took Paul several minutes to walk there from Maine.

(We see PAUL walk across stage towards BESS CALL, who holds a hoe
in one hand and a horse in the other. Really. Several FARM ANIMALS
stand by her side.)

STORYTELLER: Bess was the biggest, toughest farmer on the East Coast.
She knew more about cows and horses and sowin’ and reapin’ than
anybody else.

STORYTELLER: Paul figured she’d know where to look for a missin’ ox.

PAUL: Please, Bess, you gotta help me find Babe.

BESS: I can’t. I’ve got too much to do.
(sings)

  Song 3 - Listen now!

Got my plowing to complete
I pull the plow with my own feet
The plowshare melted from the heat

FARM ANIMALS:
Shoo bee doo, shoo bee doo, shoo

BESS:
All I’ve got is this small hoe
Thirty acres left to go
It will take an hour or so.

FARM ANIMALS:
Shoo bee doo bee doo

BESS and FARM ANIMALS:
I’ve got so much to do
Sorry Paul
Sorry Paul
I’m so busy I can’t help you now.

PAUL: Bess, I know you’re busy, but...

BESS:
50 horses left to shoe
Not an easy thing to do
That will take an hour or two

FARM ANIMALS:
Shoo bee doo, shoo bee doo, shoo

BESS:
It’s hard work, you understand
Lifting horses off the sand
I shoe them with my other hand.

FARM ANIMALS:
Shoo bee doo bee doo

(SHE lifts horse again)

BESS and FARM ANIMALS:
I’ve got so much to do
Sorry Paul
Sorry Paul
I’m so busy I can’t help you now.

PAUL: Bess, you’re my only chance.

BESS (speaks): I got so thirsty this July
That water’s now in short supply
I drank a dozen wells bone dry.

ANIMALS:
Shoo bee doo, shoo bee doo, shoo

BESS (speaks): I dug 2 miles down this afternoon
Using just a fork and spoon
I’d better find some water soon.

FARM ANIMALS:
Shoo bee doo bee doo

BESS and FARM ANIMALS:
I’ve got so much to do
Sorry Paul
Sorry Paul
I’m so busy I can’t help you now.

(We see PAUL get an idea—he snaps his fingers)

PAUL: Hey, I’ve got an idea. We can help each other out.

BESS: How?

PAUL (speaks): Every step my Babe will take
Leaves a crater in its wake
Each would make a perfect lake

CHORUS & FARM ANIMALS:
Shoo bee doo, shoo bee doo, shoo

PAUL (sings):
Help me find my ox of blue
We’ll make tons of lakes for you
We’ll throw in an ocean too.

BESS: It’s a deal, Paul.

BESS, FARM ANIMALS, and CHORUS:
I’ve got so much to do
You help me
I’ll help you
We’ll help each other just like friends should do…Yeah!

(PAUL and BESS shake hands.)

STORYTELLER: Yep. Bess was ready to help. But how?

STORYTELLER: Bess had only one idea, but it was a real good one.
Pecos Bill, King of the Texas cowboys, was well known for his wild
cowboy ways.

STORYTELLER: Bess thought that Pecos Bill might have caught Babe
in one of his roundups.

STORYTELLER: Yep.

STORYTELLER: So Paul and Bess scooted across the country to
Amarillo to ask Pecos Bill what he knew about Babe.

(WE see PAUL and BESS move across stage, where they meet PECOS
BILL and his COWTONES.)

PECOS BILL: I’m shocked! Shocked, I tell you. You think I, moi, Pecos
Bill would stoop to stealing cattle?

BESS: You’ve always been sneaky, Bill, you know that.

BILL: I’ve given up my rough ways, Bess.

PAUL: But you’re the strongest, toughest cowboy in the country.

BILL: Not any more. I’m a man of taste now. I’ve changed my ways.

  Song 4 - Listen now!

COWTONES:
Raised by coyotes in the Texas wild
Pecos Bill was a peculiar child.
Rode on a panther as the ground would shake
Lassoing grizzlies with a rattle snake.

BILL:
Yeah I was crazy in my younger days
We’re all entitled to a rowdy phase.
Now I’m sophisticated and so suave
I listen to opera, I dress in mauve.

COWTONES:
Pecos Bill
Pecos Bill
King of the Cowboys
Our hero still

PECOS BILL:
I’ve traded in my saddle for ink and quill

COWTONES:
Ride on
Ride on
Ride on
Ride on Pecos Bill.

Once in a drought we were as dry as bone
Bill went and lassoed us a big cyclone.
Rode that tornado to the Texas plain
Gave it a bearhug ’til it poured down rain.

PECOS BILL:
Yeah I was crazy in my younger days
Now I got culture and I’ve changed my ways.
I know the subtleties of who and whom
Pecos William is my nom de plume.

COWTONES and CHORUS:
Pecos Bill
Pecos Bill
King of the Cowboys
Our hero still

PECOS BILL:
I’ve traded in my saddle for ink and quill

COWTONES and CHORUS:
Ride on
Ride on
Ride on
Ride on Pecos Bill.

BILL: Beethoven’s Ninth symphony is my favorite.

COWTONES and CHORUS:
Ride on
Ride on
Ride on
Ride on Pecos Bill.

BILL: I think Shakespeare’s Hamlet is deeply moving.

COWTONES and CHORUS:
Ride on
Ride on
Ride on
Ride on Pecos Bill.
(THEY exit)

(This concludes the first one-third of the script.)


"It was the most rewarding experience that I have had as a teacher for a long time. The kids did an extraordinary job; they were so proud of each other. They were truly thrilled to be a part of it. Parents loved the production, and were very proud too. One dad was crying at the end, because he was so shocked and proud of his daughter. Thanks for your awesome work, everyone here in our little town loves the play. Lots of work, but well worth the effort."

---Betsy Randall, Teacher (5th grade), Elllsworth Elementary, Ellsworth, MI


"We laugh every rehearsal! The kids are very into deciding what props are needed most. This year we've had very limited time to get a 6th grade musical in. The students took their ideas and ran with them---doing outside work on their own and surprising me with their creativity and drive!"

---Michele Carle Bisch, Teacher (6th grade), St. Ann School, Cincinnati, OH


"Just letting you know that our presentation of America's Tallest Tales in May with forty-two third graders here in Marshall, MI was just incredible. Thank you, thank you! They absolutely loved the songs, the skits, etc. They looked and sounded tremendous! I was so incredibly proud! We packed our gym with parents, grandparents, etc. Even our superintendent attended! I know that the kids came away with some wonderful memories that will probably last a lifetime! We play to do another Bad Wolf musical next year!"

---Jennefer Bachelder, Teacher (3rd grade), Shearman Elementary, Marshall, MI


"I loved everything about it! The songs were contagious and the lines clever. I am not a performer at all but was able to pull it off easily. It gave a tremendous boost to the kids' self-esteem and class morale! Passive kids suddenly 'shined.' Plus the parents loved it."

---Kelli Finigan, Teacher (4th grade), White Oak School, Westlake Village, CA


"The easy-to-follow script, catchy songs, and added humor make the play production a delight for all (students, teachers, and parents)! Besides using the plays to give my students another avenue to strengthen/inspire their creativity, the plays work well as supplemental textbooks/teaching aids. The students love to learn the information in the play format."

---Lisa Boothe, Teacher (3rd/5th grade), Carl Hankey School, Mission Viejo, CA


"I just wanted to say thank you. It was a huge hit! I was told it was the best performance someone had ever seen at an elementary school. It went so well, my fellow third grade teacher and I are planning on getting the combo pack!"

---Charlene Burns, Teacher (3rd grade), Irving Elementary School, Joplin, MO


"I really liked the 'hokey-ness' of the music. My students needed to get a bit improper! We sang and danced---it was the talk of the town."

---Christina Clark, Teacher (5th/6th), Romer Corners Intermediate, Oregon, WI


"The students loved this! Great songs."

---Patricia Bell, Teacher (4th/5th grade), Norma Coombs School, Pasadena, CA.


"Not only do my students learn so much about the people in the play, but they also become so much more confident in their speaking ability!"

---Gina Rafael, Teacher (6th grade) Leal Elementary, Cerritos, CA

Common Core and Other National Standards

Language Arts

History/Social Studies

Fine Arts

  • National Music Standards 1, 2, 6, 7, and 8 for K-4th, Standard 1 for 5th-8th
  • National Theater Standards 2, 3, 6, 7, and 8 for K-4th, Standards 2 and 6 for 5th-8th
  • National Dance Standards 1 and 2 for K-4th

Vocabulary

lumberjack
far-fetched
holler
pining
sowing
reaping
plowing
plowshare
acre
“bone dry”
crater
wake
moi
peculiar
lassoing
grizzlies
entitled
rowdy
sophisticated
suave
mauve
quill
bearhug
subtleties
nom de plume
Beethoven’s Ninth
symphony
Hamlet
keelboats
Civil War
Douglas fir
shellac
chic
ebony
teak
hewing
lowing
potassium
Mona Lisa
plunge
earlobe
time zone
English channel
Cliffs of Dover
griping
refined
wrangler
flamenco

Vocabulary From Stage Directions
instrumental
notorious
nautical
jig

Number of questions: 0

Frequently Asked Questions About Bad Wolf Products and Licensing

How does your pricing and licensing work?

A: In short: each teacher/director using the play should have a copy of it. That's it! Your purchase gives you the right to use the play with as many classes as you wish, to photocopy the script for your actors, and to put on as many performances as you wish. This one-time purchase gives you a lifetime license. See below for more information on site licenses (for 3+ teachers or whole schools).

Q: What comes in the package?

A: Every musical play comes with the script and a 12-page Teacher's Guide that provides lots of tips and advice for using the play from start to finish. It also includes the audio recording for the play, which has all the songs both WITH and WITHOUT vocals. Sheet music is NOT included with the basic package, but it is available for $12. Extra/replacement CDs are also available for $12.

Every non-musical play comes with the script and the 12-page Teacher's Guide.

Q: I'm just one teacher putting on a play. If I use the play with multiple classes, do I have to purchase multiple licenses?

A: No! Your purchase gives you a lifetime license to be used with as many actors and classes as you wish. If other teachers/directors wish to use the play as well, they will need to purchase their own licenses.

Q: Do I need to purchase scripts for students?

A: No! Your purchase includes permission to photocopy the script for your actors.

Q: What is a "site license"? How do I know if I need one?

A site license is the economical choice when a whole school or grade level wants to put on the same play. Instead of each teacher/director having to purchase a script, the school/site can purchase a site license. This comes with three copies of the play (or one digital download) and permission to make copies for any additional participating teachers, as well as all the actors. You do NOT need to purchase both a site license and individual copies of the play; just buy one or the other.

Q: I understand that I can get two or more scripts for $35 each. Do they have to be the same play?

Nope! The discount applies whether you are purchasing multiple copies of the same show or single copies of multiple shows.

Q: What is the difference between the printed and digital versions? Which one should I get?

There is no difference in terms of content. The printed version of a musical play comes with an audio CD in a plastic sleeve in the back of the book. The digital version comes with two downloadable files: the script (PDF format) and the songs (individual MP3 files compressed in ZIP format). The advantage of the digital version is that you will not pay shipping and you can start using it instantly. Please read the question following this one about the technical requirements for digital files.

Non-musical plays are available in the form of a printed book or a PDF file.

Q: What are the technical requirements for the digital version?

  1. You will need to have Adobe Reader (free) or another software application that can open PDF files.
  2. You will need to be able to open ZIP files. The vast majority of computers should be able to do this without difficulty. If you wish to download the music directly to your phone or tablet, you will need to download an app that will open ZIP files. Many free ones are available.
  3. You will need to have some kind of audio player (such as iTunes or Windows Media Player) that will play MP3 files.

Advanced technical knowledge is not required; but please note that we do not have the ability to offer technical support for issues related to digital files. If you are unsure, it is probably best to stick with the printed version.

Q: What is your return/exchange policy?

A: Bad Wolf proudly offers a 100% guarantee. You can always exchange a product for another or get a full refund. No time limits, no questions.

Q: Is it OK if I edit the script?

A: Yes! Consider the play to be a jumping-off point. You are always welcome to change or omit anything that doesn't work for your class, administration, or parents. You are welcome to rewrite lyrics, lines, or jokes -- or add your own! (The kids love doing this, by the way.)

Q: How long does shipping take?

A: We say that you should allow for one week within the U.S., but most orders are shipped the same day and arrive 1-3 days later. International orders usually take around two weeks to arrive.

Q: Do I need to pay any performance royalties?

A: As long as your admission price is less than $5 per ticket, you never need to pay performance royalties with a Bad Wolf show. If you decide to charge more than $5 a ticket, or if you are using one of our plays for a PAID workshop, camp, assembly, etc., pay only a low 1-2% royalty on gross revenues. See our royalty page to view the rates and pay.